The efficiency of your dehumidifier can spell the difference between a comfortable summer day and having humidity hanging on the interior walls of your home. If your dehumidifier is running but you're still experiencing indoor issues, there are a few potential causes. Some of the fixes might require the help of an air conditioning repair technician.
Clean the Grill, Filter, and Bucket
A dehumidifier requires regular maintenance to remain efficient. You should check the unit at least once per month and at that time dust the exterior walls, remove and clean the filter, and remove the bucket.
A dirty or blocked air filter will keep air from passing through the dehumidifier, which means that the unit is essentially not working. A full bucket at the bottom, which collects the moisture from the air, can shut off the unit and potentially cause a water leak. If you fail to disinfect the bucket after emptying, mold can take hold and that mold can start spreading into the air passing through the dehumidifier.
Check and Clean the Evaporator Coil
The inside of a dehumidifier has an evaporator coil similar to the one found in the air handler of your central air conditioning system. The coils are how the dehumidifier pulls the moisture out of the air. Dirt or debris on the surface of the coils can keep them from doing their job properly.
You can clean the coils yourself by turning off all power to the unit then applying a no-rinse coil cleaner, which is available for purchase at any hardware store. Apply the cleaner according to package directions and follow up, if necessary, with a stiff bristled brush and a gentle hand.
If the coils look bent or broken, stop immediately and call in an HVAC tech. You will need new coils before the dehumidifier will work properly.
Check the Size and Installation
If you have a new unit, either from a new installation or your move into a new home, you should check to make sure the unit is the right size and installed in the best way to encourage dehumidifier efficiency.
The size is measured according to your home's square footage, how humid the weather is on average, and how many cubic feet per minute the unit can move the air. Ideally, your unit should exceed your home's square footage, at least match your weather, and have higher CFM rating than other similar models on the market.
Can't find any of this information on the model? Look up your unit online and check the specifications.
You also want to make sure the dehumidifier has at least a foot of clearance on each side. This means you can't have the dehumidifier in a small room with close walls or install anything else directly next to the unit or else you will end up blocking out the airflow.